La Trinidad 1 survived a late charge of Bokod, 65- 60, to win the inaugural Cong. Eric Go Yap Congressional Cup at the Benguet Sports Complex at barangay Wangal here Wednesday. It was hard earned victory for La Trinidad 1 which led by as much 24 middle of the second canto. But Bokod worked relentlessly and slowly ate on the capital town’s lead. Staring at a 52-50 deficit, a
driving Roy Pulac could have tied the game but was called for an offensive foul late in the third canto and the basket that went in was nullified by the officials.

That allowed Pollante to give LT 1 a slight breather when he drilled a trey for a 55-50 lead. After Bokod failed to deliver at the end, Pollante sank another from deep with no time left but was challenged successfully by Bokod. Rey Gabino drained a basket in the ensuing play for a 55-52 Trinidad 1 lead. The two battled it out with Bokod coming in as close as one, the first with a John Ric Buenaventura basket, 59-58, with 2:48 left and later when Kendrick Joseph’s put back went in, 61-60, and 2:18 left in the game.

Bokod, had two attempts to take the lead however, Gabino’s basket could not just go in as it went around the ring twice only to go out, and later by the younger Buenaventura. Neil Ulep scored Trinidad 1’s next three points to give La Trinidad 1 a four – point cushion, 64-60. Bokod failed to score in its next three possessions until Will Kean Lee took control of the ball with barely 17 seconds remaining. He was fouled by Buenaventura and made one of two baskets for the final score. Lee, who just came from a Cordillera Career Development College win over the University
of the Cordilleras thanked Bokod for those missed opportunities.

“A turn over for them is an opportunity for us to score. We just took advantage of those,” said Lee, who further said the wins the past two weeks over two of the top Baguio Benguet Educational Athletic League teams were added motivations for them to win. CCDC members of the squad are Ulep and John Tuazon and under the helm of Manuel Felix, Jr., who provided quality minutes for Clyde Habon. Lee admitted that it was a tough win for them, especially that they led by as much as 24 points which they lost when they relaxed and forgot to put good defense.

Coach Jong del Rosario said that they relaxed in the third and fourth quarters that allowed Bokod to rally from 24 points. “We relaxed and they got the momentum,” said the champion coach, who was happy to have that 24 point cushion early that Bokod tried to narrow and almost succeeded.
Saying that the league is over in just two games, La Trinidad 1 easily raced to a 37- 18 first quarter lead. Trinidad further stepped on the gas in the second canto when it led by as much as 24, 42-18. But a 6-0 Bokod run near the end of the first half saw a 50-34 Trinidad 1 bulge.

Pollante led Trinidad with another 17 points, the same score he made in the first finals game. He added 10 rebounds, for his second double – double game in a week and another top performance for La Trinidad 1 that earned him the finals Most Valuable Player plum. The newly elected Sangguniang Kabataan chair Ulep had 14 points and 10 boards, while Kean Diaz added 13 markers.
Ramil Alimba led Bokod with 14 points, while John Ric Buenaventura had a rare double-double, 13 points and 13 boards. Darwin Fernandez came out with 10 markers.

La Trinidad 1 earned P250,000, while its beneficiary, the La Trinidad Municipal Employees Cooperative took home PhP150,000, Bokod cashed in P150,000, while the Amukdaw Marginalized Fisherfolks Association carted home P100,000 for the team’s bridesmaid finish. Itogon was P100,000 the richer after finishing third, while their beneficiary, the People With Disability of Tuding Association went home with P80,000. The night saw the league’s best players recognized with Cyril de Vera as season MVP. Joining De Vera in the first mythical five are Bokod’s John
Ric Buenaventura, on point guard, Jude Quitolbo of Itogon and Fenrie Atinyao at forward and Pollante as center.

The second mythical team is composed of Atok’s Kurt Tamiray (point guard), Kyle Naisod of Kabayan at shooting guard, Bokod’s Gabino and Tuba’s John Cedric Pugong and Nicanor Menzi, Jr.
Most of the awardees but Gabino will see action in the Benguet All-Stars against the PBA Motoclub on Thursday, November 30. The other members are Bryan Estepa of La Trinidad 2, Alarick Tindaan of Buguias, Lee, June Rey Buenaventura and Lenz Antolino of Mankayan.




Amianan Balita Ngayon